The Sketchbook Project

For this New Year, you should consider registering as a group or just by yourself for Art Coop’s The Sketchbook Project. With ten loose themes to choose from, and costs ranging from $25 to $75, this project is a perfect challenge for anyone who is scared or is in love with the blank page. It works like this: You register, choosing a theme and a plan. A beautiful sketchbook [5.25 W x 7.25 H, 32 pages, 70lb text stock, 100% recycled paper] is mailed to you. You attack it and send it back to them by April 30th 2012. They place it for you at the Brooklyn Art Library, and publish it in their digital library for you to share your idea of storytelling with everyone around the world. Visit the website to get all your questions answered.

make a face

Like our sudden disappearance and explanation on our Facebook page, the story is the same and we will stick to it. The rains in Chennai caused a little bit of electrical damage on our road, a few wires burnt up one day. This caused a power cut in our house, following the disastrous burning of the SNP and modem, cutting us off from the blog and internet. All the problems have been fixed now. We are back to continue talking about art, space, and politics. 

Today, we would like to introduce you to the project and the artist who won the 2011 TED Prize. TED (Technology | Entertainment | Design) is a non-profit devoted to ideas worth spreading. Annually, they award an exceptional individual $100,000 and ‘One Wish to Change the World.’

Around a decade ago, a young graffiti artist found a camera in the Paris subway and set out to meet people like him who use walls as their space to communicate and share. He grew into what he calls himself today, Artist JR, the photograffeur.

Karcher cleaning of an exhibition of Portraits of a Generation in the heart of Paris

In a simple way, he travels, takes portrait photography to document his travels, and pastes large posters of these around the towns. In 2006, he became known for his ‘Portraits of a Generation’, a series of photographs of ‘thugs’ pasted around the bourgeois areas of Paris. Though initially labelled ‘illegal’, the exhibition shot to fame when the Paris City Hall wrapped its exterior with these portraits.

Face 2 Face – Separation Wall or Security Fence Palestinian Side – Five Months after the Exhibition

When  Marco and JR met in 2005, they were both curious about the Middle-East and traveled there to find out why Palestinians and Israelis find it hard to live together. They realized even though these people fought with each other day in day out, they lived similar lives and looked the same. Thus, Face 2 Face, probably one of the largest illegal photo exhibitions was born. By walking around the town and photographing a Palestinian and an Israeli who does the same job, as say a taxi driver, and pasting these face-to-face everywhere, JR and Marco painted a different imagery of togetherness.

Another landmark project, was his journey around the world capturing faces of women in Africa, India, Brazil and Cambodia. From rooftops, to trains, to bridges and walls these faces were introduced to their own communities, a chance to get to know their women better.

Women in Monrovia, Liberia

Women in India, New Delhi March 2008

His One Wish to Change the World is for you and me to join him, by signing up for the Inside Out Project. Go, take a caricature portrait of yourself or someone else, send it to them, receive a print and go paste in a public space. The challenge is to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. You can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits of an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived, and viewable virtually.

We find this project extremely interesting because it combines art, media, dialogue and space so wonderfully. It gives you a chance to meet other people and tell stories as a large community of faces.

Read more about the project and sign up in their website and listen to JR speak about it:

If you do know any other person, book, movie, or anything that made you think about space, art, and dialogue, do let us know about it or go ahead and introduce it yourself in just about 500 words. Send it as usual to chaikadai[at]gmail[dot]com. We’re so happy to be back and hope no other troubles with internet and computer will be there in the near future. Until we’re on the streets, see you here tomorrow. 

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